Tuesday 30 May 2023: Reading and writing mysteries

Image created in CanvaPro by Diane Wordsworth

The plan was to load up four books to my Kindle for holiday reading while we were away. In the end I finished reading one of them and started to read another. I’m still reading Book 2, and I still intend on reading Books 3 and 4 as well. But, well, I was a bit distracted.

Aside from the fact that we were on holiday, I started to get the germ of an idea for a cosy mystery series. Yes, I had workbooks with me for The Fool. And yes, I had workbooks with me for short story writing work. But there was this great idea nagging at me as well and I didn’t want to let it fly away.

So I started to make notes and do some brainstorming, and when I had it clear in my own mind, I shared the idea with the poet, who thought it was a good idea too… but what about the things I was already supposed to be writing?

Well, he has a point.

I’ve been determined to get a good writing rhythm going again ever since I decided to stop doing the ghostwriting. And I started to devise a plan of work. While we were on holiday, the plan of work came together too.

When I was prolific, I would often work on more than one project throughout the week. This was both to keep things moving and to stay interested. I love the variety and it means when one project is nagging at me for attention, as soon as I come to a place I can stop on the current project, I can shift attention to the demanding project without losing the momentum (said she with optimism).


I did a lot of sorting out in my head while we were away, and I’ve decided that these are the projects I’ll be concentrating on:

  • revising Diary of a Pussycat
  • typing Catch the Rainbow: the cider chronicles (Book 1)
  • writing Project Management for Writers: Gate 3 – How?
  • planning The (new) Fool: a Horvale mystery (Book 1)
  • brainstorming the new cosy mystery

This means I should always have something in ‘brainstorming’, something in ‘planning’, something in ‘writing’, something in ‘typing’, and something in ‘revising’. Once Diary of a Pussycat has been revised and moved into ‘cooling’, everything will move up and I’ll add this one to the bottom:

  • brainstorming The Beast Within: a Marcie Craig mystery (Book 2)

The Beast Within is already started, but it was started by the seat of my pants for NaNo and I don’t have a fully fleshed out outline for it. I did try to write it all from scratch, but I’m a planner and the best I can do is perhaps become a planner/pantster hybrid. (And yes, I do include the second T in pantster.)

Diary of a Pussycat will move into ‘proofreading’ and I’ll add another project to the bottom:

  • brainstorming (perhaps) The Magician: a Horvale mystery (Book 2)

Alongside these I’ll still be working on the short stories, I’ll still attempt to write stories that can go off when there are calls for submissions and I’ll still indie publish any that have either been published and I can now publish them myself, or I’ll indie publish selected works that don’t find a home elsewhere. Then, when I have enough for another omnibus edition or themed collection, I’ll indie publish that too.

Marcie Craig already has two short stories as well so at some point in the future I’ll write another three short stories and then release a collection of five Marcie Craig short stories. This will be added to the Marcie Craig series, because after The Beast Within has been written I’ll be thinking:

  • brainstorming Snowblind: a Marcie Craig mystery (Book 3)

OR… I’ll be ready for:

  • brainstorming the next cosy mystery novel


  • brainstorming Hattie’s Hotshots: the cider chronicles (Book 2)

I don’t have to brainstorm or plan the remaining project management books as all of that was done right at the start. So I might even slip the odd one of those in here and there until I’m ready to produce both the omnibus and the writealong… (which just happens to be The Beast Within).

Online learning

To help me focus more on the fiction, I took advantage of a 50% sale and I’ve enrolled on a series of study along workshops. The plan is to watch at least one workshop video online per working day and at the end of each workshop, or during in some cases, write and turn in any assignments that are required. These assignments won’t be wasted as I’ll always have somewhere in mind to submit them once they’ve received any feedback.

Anyway, aside from all of the writing and all of the workshops, I’m also mugging up on the writers’ guides for writing mysteries, as well as reading a real live mystery. And I still have the other two books to read that I planned to read on holiday. I have to read them. I’m being pre- and auto-approved for books left, right and centre at NetGalley, and they’re all the kind of books I want to write so they’re a kind of study too.

New(ish) blogs

I was really busy on Tuesday reviving not one but two blogs. One of them was a secret blog, the other was a regular weekly post I used to do before we moved house this last time.

There was a lot of umming and ahhing about whether or not to keep them or trash them, and when I decided to keep them for a while, to see how they go, I then had to decide whether to include them in regular blog posts or on their own pages or sites. One of them already had its own blog (the secret one). The other was a weekly post here, on Words Worth Writing.

In the end, I made them both separate, but added menu items to this blog to embed them here. The secret one was The Secret Sugarholic, which you can find here. The regular weekly one was The Portable Garden This Week, which is now called Our Garden This Week and you can find it here. For the garden blog I’ve included a link to the old portable garden posts for people to read if they wish. Whenever there’s a new post, I’ll also link to it here on this blog.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Both of these blogs are over on the WordPress COM site, not the ORG site (the ORG site is this one). What a learning curve that was. And it reminded me why I left the COM site in the first place. It is all – ALL – in block editing, and I’ve been Classic editing for ever. (It’s a plugin on the ORG site and it will be supported until 2024 – it was supported until 2023 up until, well, 2023.)

I’ve tried to make both sites as uncluttered as possible, but oh, did it take all day.

Client work

I have retained only one client, the editing client I’ve been working for since 2010. I currently have in two jobs for them, with another on the horizon:

  • electronic edit book about the Taliban (already in)
  • proofread book about Vietnam (already in)
  • edit Taliban sequel

This is the ONLY work I intend to do that isn’t mine. Or at least for the foreseeable future. I’ve saved up enough money that I can pay myself a wage for at least the next six months, probably longer, and I intend to use that time to build up my own inventory of material.

Phew! I think that’s everything. Tomorrow, it’s today in more detail. I hope you like the new blogs.

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2 thoughts on “Tuesday 30 May 2023: Reading and writing mysteries

    1. I just need to get my head around it all first and then I can crack on, full steam ahead.

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